Michael Artherton is rated very highly by many in England as a great batsman.  However it is Athertons unsung team mate Alec Stewart who holds many batting records for England,  apart from a host of individual records.  Infact it is Alec Stewart who has played more matches than Michael Artherton for England, scored more runs and has a better batting average than Michael Artherton.

Alec Stewart played 133 Tests which is a record for England.  When Alec Stewart quit Test Matches he held the record for the having played in the highest numbers of Tests by a Englishman.  Only Steve Waugh with 162 Tests and Allan Border with 156 Tests had played more test matches than Alec Stewart at that point of time.  Even today Alec Stewarts tally of 133 Tests is a English record and his tally of 8463 runs at an creditable average of 39.54 is the second best by an English behind Graham Gooch .  When Alec Stewart quit Test Cricket he was the eight highest run getter in Test Matches.  Only Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Sunil Gavaksar, Graham Gooch, Javed  Miandad, Sachin Tendulkar and Vivian Richards had the distinction of scoring more Test runs than Alec Stewart.

Alec Stewart played 170 one day internationals for England  which was a English record till it was broken by Paul Collingwood during England South Africa tour in 2009 and his tally of 4677 runs is still an English record.  Apart from holding records in batting and also for having played most matches for England many forget the fact that Alec Stewart held all these records while playing in the team as a specialist wicket keeper.  Alec Stewart has effected 277 dismissals in Test Matches and 174 dismissals in one day internationals. If one clubs Alec Stewarts wicket keeping records with his batting, then those figures make him a lengendary all rounder much like the likes of  Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee or Shaun Pollock.

Alec Stewart started his career at his career at the age of 26 which is very late by international standards.  Alec Stewart continued to play till the age of 40 which again is very rare by international standards. It is a known fact in India that Rahul Dravid  fondly called by everybody in India as "team man" was a reluctant wicket keeper but Alec Stewart willingly kept for England in both forms of the game without the slightest of hesitation.  The point to be noted here is  England were more dependent on Alec Stewarts batting than India on Rahul Dravid, because while Rahul Dravid was was not under much pressure as he had Sehwag to precede him and with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, ,VV S  Laxman and Sourav Ganguly to follow, Stewart did not have that luxury as England were never known to have a great batting line up.

If at all there is a unsung hero in world cricket, then it is Alec Stewart.

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